Accepting Love from Your Spouse – Intimacy in Marriage
Most people assume that they know how to receive and accept love from their spouses, but some people are uncomfortable being loved. They either feel they are unworthy of love and intimacy in marriage, or are afraid to accept love for fear of being hurt.
When you can’t accept love from your wife or husband, he/she feels rejected. This can cause marital problems and prevent your relationship from reaching its fullest potential. However, anyone can learn how to receive and fully accept love as long as they are willing to work on it.
Step 1: Figure Out Why You Are Having Trouble Accepting Love
Before you can learn how to accept love with open arms, you need to figure out where you hesitation comes from. Are you just more reserved than your spouse? Have you experienced abuse or trauma in the past which has caused you to shut down in an attempt to protect yourself? Dig deep until you get to get to the root of your fear of intimacy.
Step 2: Practice Accepting Love from Yourself
Contrary to what you may have heard, self love and acceptance doesn’t come naturally to most people. Most people are their own biggest critics and are afraid to pursue self love and acceptance for fear of appearing narcissistic.
However, the truth is that you cannot accept love from someone else until you are comfortable accepting love from yourself. At the very least, you should show yourself the same compassion and kindness that you show your spouse.
Anytime you catch yourself criticizing yourself, change the direction of your thoughts and start pointing out your strengths to yourself. Also, learn to depersonalize your failures. Instead of thinking “I’m a failure” start thinking “I didn’t succeed but I did the best could.”
Step 3: Give Up the Need for Control
Being in a relationship with someone else means not being able to control the other person’s actions and emotions. It means accepting the possibility that they might hurt you.
However, you’ll never know the true meaning of marital intimacy until you become comfortable with vulnerability. Start with low levels of vulnerability such as gracefully accepting compliments from your spouse and build up to higher levels of vulnerability. Your goal should be get to a point where you can be honest about your needs, emotions and desires with your spouse and trust that he’/she won’t reject you.
Intimacy in marriage isn’t just about giving love, but also about receiving and accepting love. Sadly, too many people assume that they know how to accept love when they really don’t. Don’t let such an assumption cause marital problems for you and your spouse; make sure you know how to fully accept love.